Why I Won’t Sign a Statement of Faith

I do most of my work by contract, which means I’m usually looking for work. When the time comes for me to put my feelers out for new opportunities, I tend to look far and wide. In doing so, sometimes I come across some unexpected prospects.

A couple of years ago, I applied for an editorial position at a magazine. Things were going well until we got down to the final rounds and they placed a statement of faith before me that I was expected to sign. There was much in the document that I didn’t agree with, and in general, I balk at signing anything that tries to nail down what I believe or what I claim as a Christian.

I respectfully declined to sign the document, and within the hour, they withdrew my name from consideration for the job. I was recounting this to a friend and fellow writer last night over a beer, and he shared a number of similar experiences. He tends to “get” evangelical Christian culture a bit more than I do, however, so he has found various ways to work around the points of disagreement he finds in such statements.

This is an exclusive I wrote for Sojourners. Read the full article HERE.

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  • contantlysearching

    I don’t think I could write a statement of faith either. Or I could, but it would be really really long and involve a lot of different thoughts/possibilities and end on an incredibly vague note.

    • Christian Piatt

      …and it would have to change daily.

      • –yikes– Anyone heard of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed? It’s ‘core’ Christianity. Or is it? Your thoughts…

  • Mark Russell

    These documents aren’t really “statements of faith,” as even people who disagree with the various tenets contained within them presumably still have faith. More accurately, they should be called “statements of orthodoxy.”

    • Christian Piatt

      agreed Mark. It’s time for us to have a beer and chat.

  • Frank

    I wouldn’t trust anyone who couldn’t tell me what they believed and had integrity of belief.

    • Elevating belief over behavior is rather un-American according to this essay:

      …”The Almost-Chosen People,”[20] saying that the United States was
      unique because all religious beliefs were respected. People were more
      concerned with “moral conduct rather than dogma.” So Jefferson helped
      create a society in which different religions could coexist peacefully
      because of the emphasis on morality over specific belief.[21]